Updated at 1:43 pm
The Sacramento Kings have passed along an official statement on reports that they are moving to Virginia Beach.
The Kings organization over the last several years has been approached by numerous parties and cities interested in buying and relocating the franchise. The franchise is not going to discuss which cities have approached the organization and are not going to comment on every rumor. The sole focus of everyone within the Sacramento Kings organization continues to be to put a winning team on the court as we look forward to what promises to be an exciting 2012-13 NBA season.
In a story by The Hampton Roads Business Journal, the Maloof family and officials from Virginia Beach were expected to announce next Wednesday that the Kings would propose to move east. Comcast-Spectator, which owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, along with concert promoter LiveNation are reportedly partnering with the city to build a brand-new arena with the promise of bringing a professional sports team on a 25-year lease. A $1 hike in Virginia Beach’s lodging tax would help finance construction costs.
Sacramento’s CBS13 spoke with Kings owner Joe Maloof this morning. He refuted the story telling CBS, “We haven’t talked to Virginia Beach.”
When reached for comment on the situation, the NBA released the following statement:
“We have no information from the Kings on this matter and there has been no application for relocation.”
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson took to Twitter to offer the city’s take on the news:
I spoke w/h the NBA, neither they nor my office has been contacted by the Kings. At this point there is nothing new to report.
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) August 23, 2012
Cowbell Kingdom’s sources inside the franchise have been denying the original story all morning, but wouldn’t go public until now.
The news comes on the heels of the Kings making a major push to pitch ticket and corporate plans in preparation for the upcoming season. Members of the Maloof family were in Sacramento to help with a ticket sales event last night.
Jonathan Santiago also contributed to this post.